SenseTime, Mobike Mega Deals Prove It’s China Tech Time!

Midas facesChina broke through on the Forbes Midas List 2017 with 16 China venture capitalists and seven Chinese startup unicorns factoring in the rankings. This should not be a surprise considering that China’s VC market has grown to $65 billion in 2017, nearing the U.S. at $71 billion. And that China accounts for 62 of the world’s 230 unicorn companies valued at more than $1 billion.
It’s all a part of the progress from made in China to invented in China to designed in China — and in just a few short 10 years. China is nearing the U.S. for the number of new patent applications and is closing in on the U.S. for R&D spending.
This year’s Midas list well represents long-time China venture investment firms, most of them with close links to Silicon Valley. Sequoia Capital China has 3 partners on the list while GGV Capital has 2. Other firms that made the mark are Qiming Venture Partners, IDG Capital, DCM Ventures, Lightspeed China  and GSR Ventures.
For the full list, read Forbes: China’s VC Climbers

China’s leading artificial intelligence company SenseTime Group has raised $600 million in Series C funding just months after pulling in $410 million. Alibaba took the lead in this new financing along with Singaporean investment company Temasek and Chinese retailer Suning. SenseTime becomes the world’s highest valued AI startup, at $3 billion.
SenseTime makes facial racial technology for Chinese smartphones and can do real-time video of streets to ID cars and passerbys in crowds. The technology is being used by police departments across China. Silicon Dragon awarded SenseTime co-founder Dr. Li Xu its founder of the year award at our 2017 awards event in Hong Kong. See video chat with SenseTime founder and investor.

Southeast Asian fashion startup Zilingo has pulled in $54 million in a Series C funding deal. The capital came from Sequoia Capital India, an investment unit of Germany’s Burda Media and Belgian holding company Sofina.
The new capital infusion follows $17 million last year. The deal showcases how e-commerce is taking off in Southeast Asia. founded by 27-year-old Ankiti Bose, Singapore-based Zilingo is aiming to duplicate the experience of browsing the region’s colorful bazaars and make apparel shopping easy. In on the new financing were existing investors Amadeus Capital and VC investor Tim Draper.

8 Securities Group in Hong Kong has snared $25 million in investment from Nomura Asset Management in a new strategic partnership that combines robo-advisor apps and technology with asset management experience.

China’s group buying site Meituan-Dianping acquired bike-sharing startup Mobike for $3.7 billion. Consolidation of tech giants is accelerating in China as a race is to on to build and own the largest tech ecosystems.

Qiming Venture Partners was an early investor in Mobike, led by partner Helen Wong in ShanghaiMobike’s global partnership exec Florian Bohnert spoke last December at
Silicon Dragon’s salon in NYC along with GGV founding managing partner Gary Rieschel.
Gary then mused about how Qiming might make money from China’s bike-sharing craze! He knows the answer.

Alibaba sports affiliate Alisports drew in $190 million from Jack Ma’s VC fund Yunfeng Capital. Alisports then acquired online fitness app and wearables company Ledongli, backed by DCM Ventures. 
 Separately, Alisports’ $100 million investment to develop rugby in China has been halted for about two months until issues over changes in mainland sports governance are sorted out.

FUNDS
India’s Saama Capital has raised $100 million for its fourth fund focused on Indian statups, a little over a year after closing its third fund. The trick is good returns plus India’s surging tech and e-commerce markets and a well-experienced team led by former SVB executive in India, Ash Lilani.

NOTEWORTHY
20 Technology Leaders China Driving China’s AI Revolution: The List is Led by Kai-Fu Lee of Sinovation Ventures, followed by top execs from Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba.  Read more here: AI Gurus

China is speeding toward driver-less trains with a trial on metro lines in Shanghai. See China inventions.